Studying medicine in Europe??

Discussion in 'Overseas Practice' started by kikirish, May 8, 2017.

  1. kikirish

    kikirish New Member

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    Hi. I'm not sure if this has been asked already, but I hope there is someone who can help me with some of the questions I have about studying medicine in Europe.

    I am a holder of NZ citizen. I was not successful in getting into med school in NZ, so I thought about applying to Aus unis. But on the news I heard that they will increase the tuition fees for NZ students studying in Australia and this has put me off from applying to Aus unis as it will be very difficult for me to afford to study there. My parents are talking about selling the house to pay for my tuition fees but I really don't want it to come down to that.

    While I was doing some research on internet, I found that there are some Medical schools in Europe (mostly in Eastern Europe) that provide courses in English. Although I assume the medical schools in eastern Europe is 'inferior' to the ones in Australia, I find the tuition fees and living cost very attractive. Personally, the prestige of universities don't really matter to me, as long as I can graduate and work as a doctor. However, I have zero information on what will happen once I graduate from one of these universities. One university in Poland claims that, in the final year, they will send you to US (university of California) for your placement and you can also do your internship and residency in US. I'm not sure if that's just for US citizens only.

    Anyway, my real concern is, after I graduate, will my medical degree be recognized in other countries?
    can I come back to NZ to work? or work in Australia/US/UK/other EU countries?
    or if none of this is possible, can I at least work in the country where I got my degree even though I'm not a citizen there?
     
  2. chinaski

    chinaski Member

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    Where to begin?

    Firstly, don't sell your house to study medicine in Australia. That's an unwise investment.

    Second, don't study medicine overseas if your intention is to return to Australia to work. The country is oversupplied with local graduates and as such, junior doctors that come from overseas are at the bottom of a very big pile. There is a high possibility that you would not get a job, particularly if your degree and practice comes from a country that is not considered to be on a par with Australia. I don't know about NZ, but it wouldn't surprise me if things aren't much different.

    Third, working in Europe as a doctor is possible if you hold EU citizenship. If you don't, then you have to refer yourself to the emigration and working policies for each country to see if you would be eligible to reside there and work (note: students are distinct from workers WRT emigration and visas, generally speaking). The US notoriously difficult to enter as a foreigner - read more about residency and green cards for further info. The UK - currently is a part of the EU, but with Brexit, by the time you graduate, will likely be a very closed shop.

    Fourth, think about why the cost of living and tuition in a particular country is low. These places are often great to spend a little time in, but in the long term, you may not find yourself wanting to put down roots. You may find yourself looking at moving to a country wherein many of the locals are looking to leave, and graduating with a degree you can't really use back home. Beware.
     
  3. frootloop

    frootloop Not this time. Moderator

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    Try having a look through the MCNZ website's page on IMG registration to see exactly how the registration process would work coming from an eastern european medical school.

    Otherwise, as per chinaski above. Only 60% of applicants pass the NZREX exam, which you need in order to be able to register here as an international medical graduate. Then you'd actually have to find a job, and you wouldn't exactly be highest priority - especially if you tried to come back at house officer (junior) level. That's not great odds considering the cost and amount of time/effort it'd take you to get a medical degree in Eastern Europe.

    Essentially, it'd be very hard for you to come back to NZ/Aus for work if you studied overseas. I can't comment on your odds of getting a job in the country you worked in (or the U.S.), but from what I've heard, the latter isn't easy to get into. If you went over to another country to study, you'd have to really want to spend >10-15 years living in Eastern Europe, because that's likely what'd happen.

    Is medicine really worth completely turning your entire life upside-down, moving halfway around the world to a place where you don't speak the language and have no friends/family to support you, and paying large course fees with no student loan, all without any guarantee you'll actually be able to work as a doctor at all at the end of it (let alone in New Zealand)? No, it isn't.

    Did you miss out through first year, or through graduate entry? If it was the former, I'd strongly suggest going for graduate entry rather than heading overseas. If it was the latter... then I'm afraid it isn't worth bankrupting your parents to go to Australia/somewhere else just to maybe be able to work as a doctor.

    If you really want to be a doctor in New Zealand if you've already missed out through graduate entry, the best option left for you is to spend a few years making yourself look good for the Otago 'alternative' category. The odds of getting in through that aren't great, but it'd be far more likely to result in you being a doctor practicing in NZ than heading off overseas would.

    Unfortunately, my advice would be don't (unless you're super-keen on spending over a decade in Eastern Europe).
     
  4. Kiwiology

    Kiwiology Member

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    This is a terrible idea, do not do this.

    Do not do this specifically because:

    (1) As an IMG you will not get the coveted House Surgeon post required to "pass out" of NZREX status and be treated like everybody else. There have been a swag of NZREX docs from various countries getting all heaven forfend about it on the news over the past 1-2 years and with our current supply of NZ grads as well as the possibility of Waikato Medical School ... your chances of finding a job are pretty much zero. I've worked with several NZREX doctors who were graduates of reputable schools taught in English etc. and they gave up trying to get a House Surgeon post.

    (2) With Brexit and the future of England as your "safe-go-to-option" for "comparable specialist" training in serious doubt you might find yourself without somewhere to go. Plus add to this the insane amount of time it takes to train in the NHS now and the very high competition.

    (3) The US won't even look at you. My friend, as an American citizen IMG, can't even get a job there because of what a mess their system is.

    (4) You may find yourself stuck in some funny country for 8-10 years or more while you go through full specialist training and then try to come back here or Australia. Think about that.

    Your best bet would be to exhaust all your options here and in Australia first and we can't stop you obviously, but I echo the strong sentiments of everybody here not to do this.
     
  5. Mana

    Mana Intern (UNDS MBBS) Administrator

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    I refer you to the common pitfalls link in my signature for my response to this.
     
  6. kikirish

    kikirish New Member

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    thank you everyone for your replies. I really appreciate your feedback. I have little knowledge of life beyond medical school, I had no idea it was this complicated. I thought it was as easy as 'get your medical degree and now you are a doctor'.

    Unfortunately, I missed out on my HSFY and graduate entry and my only option in NZ is through other category but as of right now, I have no experience outside of university so I don't think that's a good option for me.
    I sat GAMSAT this year and still waiting for my result, but I'm not expecting too much to be honest. But say I got into Australian med school, is it still difficult to get a job in either Aus or NZ? Would the investment not be worth it?

    I always wanted to be a doctor, it's always been my dream but I will take your advice and do more research before jumping into anything.
     
  7. Kiwiology

    Kiwiology Member

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    There are a number of factors unique to each different place, but for both New Zealand and Australia, particularly Australia, it is the number of domestic graduates vs. available jobs. For the USA it's the design of their system and the way their postgraduate training is funded (off of Medicaid IIRC) plus Americans are very myopic and see anything "not American" to be worse. England has had a massive restructure of post-graduate training over the past 8-10 years and I can't make heads or tails of the reasoning behind it.

    So, just to confirm you have also applied via Graduate and First Year pathway at Auckland as well and not been offered a place?

    As an Otago grad, if your degree was (a) less than five years ago and (b) has a GPA of 6 or better you can apply as a graduate, if you have not previously applied at Auckland you can apply twice. If you have not already done so, as an Otago graduate, you are eligible to enrol in and apply for the MBChB via the First Year pathway too.
     
  8. kikirish

    kikirish New Member

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    wait... let me get this straight. If you don't get into Otago med, you can apply again at Auckland???

    I only applied at Otago. I just assumed that in NZ, you can only apply once via first year and graduate.

    So... if I only applied at Otago (both HSFY and Graduate and failed both), is that mean I'm still eligible to enroll in and apply for the MBChB via the First Year pathway in Auckland?? Is that what you are saying?
     
  9. Kiwiology

    Kiwiology Member

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    Yes. If you have completed an Otago degree you can apply as a graduate at Auckland, and either once again as a graduate or via First Year.

    My mate who is PGY3 or 4 now did this.

    What is the GPA of your degree and how long ago did you graduate?
     
  10. frootloop

    frootloop Not this time. Moderator

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    The two schools are entirely separate - if you haven't yet applied to Auckland as a graduate, you're still eligible to do so (although your present grades probably wouldn't get you in).

    Auckland only uses your most recent two years of GPA, and I think (although someone may correct me on this) you can use hons or masters grades to apply for graduate entry there. So imo you'd be a lot better off doing a masters or something and applying to Auckland as a graduate than doing Auckland's first year and applying that way. At least then if you don't get in, you've got a master's degree you can use, whereas you'd come away from an unsuccessful attempt at first year with nothing to show for it.

    Also, you're allowed to apply to Auckland twice. So if you're yet to apply there at all, you've still got plenty of options left in New Zealand. I'd certainly advise going for Auckland over Australia as a New Zealander, unless you're happy to pay > $100,000 to study there with no guarantee you'd end up getting a job (in either country).
     
  11. Kiwiology

    Kiwiology Member

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    Yes, Auckland only looks at your most recent two years; it can be either two years of an undergraduate degree, or two PGDips, or a Masters.

    See here Entry - The University of Auckland
     

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